White Pork Chili (a Whole30 Meal!)

Taken and slightly adapted from Danielle Walker's  Against All Grain Cookbook

Taken and slightly adapted from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Cookbook

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This is my favorite recipe discovery from the past year. My sis-in-law Katie made this White Pork Chili for our family when I had just had Daxton, and it was the BEST thing to have during that cold month and newborn life. So I definitely associate this meal with feeling super loved and nourished. However, I happen to have a penchant for stews. I love one-pot meals, because they're so easy to make, and I especially love a hot bowl of soup. The original, paleo version of this recipe can be found in Danielle Walker's book, Against All Grain, however, I've changed it up to make this particular version Whole30-friendly. Don't let the lengthy ingredient list scare you - this stew is SO WORTH making. I promise you will love it. Omg I think I'm going to have to make more this week after drooling over these photos while I edited them.

Ingredients:
- 2 pork chops, grilled or oven-baked until medium done, cooled, and then diced
- 1 small jar tomatillo salsa
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 2 poblano peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 large zucchinni, diced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. ground oregano
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Method:
1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic together until soft and fragrant.
2. Add the peppers, sweet potatoes and all the spices and saute for another 5 minutes or so, until the vegetables are soft.
3. Pour in the chicken stock, then add the zucchini.
4. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cover the stockpot. Return every few minutes to stir, as the cashew butter will need to continuously mixed in.
5. Once the vegetables are soft and the pork is warmed all the way through, this is ready to eat!
6. Top each bowl with a handful of parsley and a fresh squeeze of lime.

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There you have it! This meal stand alone beautifully by itself. If you aren't doing Whole30, you can add a splash of white wine to the broth. You can also serve it with some delicious baked bread to sop up all the savory goodness. Oh gosh, this is SUCH a great winter stew, I hope you super love it! Let me know if you decide to make it! xx

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Chicken-Herb Meatballs (Whole30 Compliant!)

This is my second time around doing Whole30, and I'm starting to get into the rhythm of cooking in this style of food AKA super insanely healthy. This spaghetti squash spaghetti is a great recipe because it's reeeeeeal yummy, ridiculously healthy and easy to prep. The key is to double (or triple!) the recipe to have leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Or make a ton of the meatballs and freeze a batch of them to have for another meal. This is a great family dinner!

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients:
- 1-2 Spaghetti Squash
- Olive Oil

Method:
1.) The easiest way to cook a spaghetti squash is to place the squash on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then rotate the squash, and bake for another 30 minutes. Once it's finished, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
2.) After scooping those out, use a fork to "fluff" the noodles out from the squash. Place these in a bowl and set aside.

Chicken-Herb Meatball Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. minced herbs (I used a mix of rosemary, thyme and oregano)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil

Method:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Combine the chicken, egg, onion, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Roll 15-20 meatballs, each one approximately the size of a golf ball.
3.) Heat a large skillet over medium-high and drizzle with olive oil. Once pan is hot, add a batch of meatballs (you might have to do this in several batches, depending on the size of your skillet). Turn each one every 30 seconds, until it is evenly browned all over. This should take about 5 minutes total. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes. Let meatballs rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Top noodles with your favorite spaghetti sauce (after doing the homemade work for the noodles and meatballs, I don't dare prepare my own spaghetti sauce, too. I like to use the Costco or Whole Foods brands because they are Whole30-compliant and delicious.) Top with meatballs and fresh oregano or parsley. Bon Appetit!

P.S. - More about my Whole30 journey here.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas.

I have been searching high and low for my favorite chicken enchilada recipe. I've tried everyone's - Giada's, Ree Drummond's, Jessica Alba's, a zillion people on Epicurious and Allrecipes.com. But I haven't found THE ONE. Until now, that is. This recipe is a blend of trial and error (a lot of error - there have been batches lost to too much spice, too much cheese, too much sauce, too little sauce, etc.) I am excited to share this with you! I hope you love it as much as my family does :)

Ingredients:
- 3-4 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
- 4 32-oz. boxes of chicken stock
- 1-2 package tortillas (I prefer flour)
- 2 15-oz. cans red enchilada sauce
- 1 can green chilies
- 1 can diced black olives, drained
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 24 oz. Mexican-style cheese, shredded (this could be 3-4 packages)
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup, plus 1/2 cup more, cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp. diced garlic
- salt & pepper, to taste
- paprika

Method:
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place the chicken and 1 tbsp. diced garlic in a large stockpot and cover with the chicken stock. Toss in a bit of salt and pepper for good measure. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let the chicken cook for about 20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. It should be white and easy to slice through (that's how you will know it's done!)

3. While the chicken is cooking, you can prep everything else. In a smaller stockpot, pour the 2 cans of enchilada sauce and the 1 can of green chilies in and heat over medium-low. Let it slowly heat up. Make sure to stir every few minutes.

4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 18 oz. of the shredded cheese, the drained black olives, and the chopped cilantro. Mix well. Set aside.

5. Go ahead and de-seed and dice up the green pepper. Dice the yellow onion.

6. Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove from heat and drain out the broth. Move to a large plate or cutting board and shred the chicken meat.

7. Heat a large deep skillet over medium. Add some olive oil to the pan and allow 1-2 minutes to heat. Add in the diced onion and green pepper. Toss in a bit of salt and pepper, for funsies. After 3-4 minutes, when things are getting soft and slightly browned, toss in the shredded chicken. Then add the magic ingredient: the cream cheese. Allow the cheese to melt over the chicken, and mix everything well, so the chicken, cheese, onion and green pepper make a creamy situation. Yum. Yum yum yum. Lower the heat. 

8. Now it's time to dress your tortillas! Lay your tortilla flat and add some of the chicken mixture down the middle. Then top with the cheese, olive + cilantro mixture. Roll the tortilla up and place seam-side down in a large glass oven-safe pan. Repeat this with all the tortillas until your pan is full. Note: I had enough ingredients to make 1 large 9x13 pan and another 8x8 pan.

9. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of all the tortillas in the pan, making sure to completely saturate the tortillas.

10. Top the tortillas with another 8 oz. of shredded cheese.

11. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

12. Top enchiladas with 1/2 cup of cilantro. Dress with sour cream, black beans or green onions - or nothing at all! These enchiladas can stand alone and stand proud.

Serves 6-8.

I really really REALLY love this recipe. It's taken me a good bit of trial and error to get here, so I am proud to share this with you. I hope it warms up your home on these days that are getting chillier and chillier :) Happy yummy dinner to you and your family!

Goat Cheese & Pistachio Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

It might be fall festival season for you, but in my world, it's wedding season! I am so excited to be celebrating the upcoming nuptials of one of my oldest friends AND my baby sister. Separate weddings. They aren't marrying each other. Two weddings. One week apart. One week away. Both occasions are coming up fast and the celebrating has already begun with showers and parties and gift wrapping and hoopla. Speaking of, I really need to pick up my dress from the alterations place. MENTAL NOTE. But anyway, in honor of this joyous season, I wanted to share one of my favorite go-to party dishes, because even if you're not celebrating a wedding, these are great holiday appetizers. And this one is SO easy, you will thank me. I'm preparing myself now - because you WILL thank me. Here is a twist on the traditional bacon-wrapped date:

Ingredients:
- 1 package of nitrate-free bacon
- 1 package of fresh dates, pitted
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 1 package pistachios, crushed

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Stuff each date with a hefty helping of goat cheese.
3. Go ahead and stuff some pistachios in the date, as well.
4. Cut each piece of bacon in half (sometimes I even do thirds).
5. Wrap each date with bacon. Place the date with the bacon's seam side down on a baking sheet.
6. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Flip the dates, then bake for another 5-7 minutes.
7. Remove the dates from the baking sheet, allow to cool. Spear each date with a toothpick, and transfer to a serving platter. Boom! You're holding the best appetizer in the room. I promise :)

Seriously though. If these dates don't get eaten, then BONUS. You get to take them home and scarf the whole plate yourself. While watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. But seriously, if you take these to a party and they don't get eaten - I will pay you $5. Because that's how confident I am in these delectable treats. FIVE DOLLARS CONFIDENT.

Happy wedding weekending to me. Happy hosting, to you!